Eastbourne celebrates Olympic torch announcement

Pevensey and Westham School celebrate the Olympic torch coming to Wealden
Pevensey and Westham School celebrate the Olympic torch coming to Wealden

EASTBOURNE and Pevensey will welcome the Olympic Torch next year as it makes its way to the capital for London 2012.

The town is celebrating after the Herald announced residents would have the chance to see the iconic symbol of the Games.

The Olympic Flame will come through Eastbourne on Pevensey on Tuesday, July 17, giving the community the chance to share in the excitement of the Relay and celebrate the achievements of the torchbearers.

Eastbourne and Pevensey are two of more than 1,000 towns, villages and cities announced by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) through which the Olympic Flame will be carried.

The 70 day Olympic Torch Relay, will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of 19 May 2012.

On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic Flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK.

The Olympic Torch Relay route will pass through Crowborough, Lewes, Eastbourne, Pevensey and Pevensey Bay, Bexhill and St Leonards before stopping for an evening celebration in Hastings on July 17.

The Flame then continues through Hastings and passes through Rye on July 18 before continuing its journey through Kent and around the country.

The street by street detail of the route will be confirmed next year but part of its journey through East Sussex will include a stop at the Seven Sisters.

Cllr David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said, “We are absolutely delighted that Eastbourne has been chosen as a host community for the Olympic Torch Relay.

“It will offer a brilliant once in a lifetime opportunity for Eastbourne residents and visitors to see the Olympic Flame.

“The Olympic Torch Relay promises to be a spectacular occasion for the whole country and we will certainly be celebrating its arrival in Eastbourne.

“I hope that the whole community will join us to mark this momentous day next year.”

And Cllr Peter Jones, leader of East Sussex County Council, said, “I am delighted so many towns and villages in East Sussex will play such a central role in the Olympic celebrations.

“It will give all residents a chance to see the Olympic Flame and witness the spectacle of the Olympic Torch Relay as it passes through our unique county.

“This gives the whole community a chance to share in the Olympic spirit and mark the countdown to the start of the Games.

“It will also give us an opportunity to support members of the community who have been chosen to run with the Olympic Flame.”

The torch will be carried across the UK by 8,000 inspirational torchbearers.

The chosen people will each have a story of personal achievement or will have contributed to the local community.

In December this year, successful nominees will be contacted with a conditional offer and final Torchbearer places will start to be confirmed from February 2012 onwards.

The Gazette and Herald have already received a nomination for a torchbearer.

Lorna Dunbar said, “I would like to nominate Paul Teague to carry the Olympic torch for Eastbourne. He has been a runner for the last six years and has raised vital funds for charity.”

Paul ran in the Great South Run in 2006 and 2007 for the Royal Marsden’s cancer campaign.

He has also taken part in the London Marathon for the last three years raising £2,772 for Diabetes UK and is on track to raise another £2,000 in 2012.

Paul also ran in the last Great South Run in fancy dress and raised a collection bucket total of £80.37. He has also run the Hastings Half marathon in fancy dress.

Lorna added, “This is totally out of his comfort zone but his passion drives him on.

“To carry the Olympic flame through Eastbourne would be a great honour to him and a thank you for his charity fundraising. And to put his own name in Eastbourne’s history would just be amazing.”

To suggest a worthy person to carry the torch email eastbourne.herald@trbeckett.co.uk. However, all nominations must be made at www.london2012.com.

People are also encouraged to sign up to the local leader programme at www.london2012.com/localleaders to receive further information on a range of themed celebration ideas.

Those who sign up will get ideas for the Opening Ceremony evening, gardening, quizzes, barbecues and be in the front row to receive free London 2012 event materials to support events.